Tried and tested – top tips for a great wedding speech
Ask anyone who has had to give a speech in any kind of situation and they will all say the same thing. Giving a wedding speech is nothing like any other public speaking. A wedding speech is an important part of the day and is performed in front of close friends and family. That’s enough to strike fear into the heart of even the hardiest person!
All is not lost though as we’re sure you can rise to the occasion. If you have been asked to be the best man or your daughter is getting married, we have some tried and tested wedding tips written especially for you.
The main concerns most people have about giving a wedding speech is being funny enough, entertaining enough or emotional enough for the moment. It’s tough to balance the needs of the speech with the desire to be funny. It’s also tough to be able to appeal to a diverse audience, of various ages, most of whom will know you well.
However, no challenge is insurmountable, which is why we put these tips together. Use them well, and you’ll give a speech that everyone will love.
Planning any task is the best way to succeed in it. Planning your wedding speech is also the best way to deliver an exceptional one. While ad lib and spontaneity are definitely to be encouraged, a certain amount of practice is vital to ensure you do not sound wooden as you read word by word from cue cards.
Giving a wedding speech is a stressful time, so the more practice you get, the better job you’ll do. Practice in front of a mirror, practice in front of friends and practice as much as you can manage. It’s the single more important tip we can share.
The aim of a wedding speech is to celebrate the moment and the happy couple. One way to reflect on this stage of their life is to tell stories of them as children or when they were younger. Just remember to keep it clean if you have older or younger guests!
Just remember not to tell stories where you had to “be there” to get it. However well you explain them; they do not always translate well to people who don’t know you and/or the happy couple as well as you do.
To go along with the stories is our tip on not embarrassing the happy couple. While many wedding speeches do include amusing anecdotes, in reality, they do not always go down that well. We think it’s best to stay away from telling those kinds of stories if you’re not sure of your audience, or at least save them for another day.
It’s very tempting to have a bit of Dutch courage before anything stressful, but we would advise against it in the strongest possible terms. It will be tough, as there’s usually lots of alcohol floating around a wedding, but you’ll find life much easier if you keep it to a minimum until after the speech.
Tipsy speeches never go according to plan, or particularly well. It’s harder to read when tipsy. It’s also much harder to gauge people’s reaction, so you may find it harder to read your audience. Save it for afterwards, you will really appreciate that first glass of champagne once your speech is over, we promise!
It may be tempting to talk for hours, but we would suggest keeping it short and sweet. While wedding speeches are an important part of the day, they are not the main event. Keep the speech to around five minutes, and you’re on the right track.
This is where practice comes in. You can write the speech, time the delivery and adjust accordingly. We tend to talk faster when stressed, so don’t worry if you’re a little over that five minute mark as you probably won’t be on the day.
Giving a wedding speech is a nervous time and most people will understand that. Just remember two things, stand up straight and look at everyone. Standing up straight will make sure you have plenty of oxygen and make you easier to look at. Making eye contact gives your speech that personal touch.
Professional speakers will divide the audience up into segments and look at each segment regularly. Making eye contact with your audience makes them feel as though you’re talking directly to them.
Don’t forget to end your speech with a toast. It’s a traditional ending to a speech, yet it’s often forgotten until the very last moment. Keep the toast short and do it with style. That, if anything, will be what people remember!
Giving a wedding speech can be stressful, but prepare in advance, practice enough and stay sober, and there’s no reason you will not have a blast!